With emotional discomfort, the reflex is often to stop engaging. In an effort of self-protection from what has challenged us, there may be a tendency to back off. Sometimes that is needed in order to gain perspective and assess what is “really” going on. Sometimes, truly the healthiest response is, in fact, to retreat for protection from dangerous people, situations, or settings. Sadly, when we disengage and retreat, instinctively rather than truly assessing, acknowledging and participating with what is causing our discomfort, we miss the gift of growth. Sadly, when stopping, retreating, and not assessing to deal with what is happening, we lose the opportunity to expand our awareness and mature in the timing it’s being offered; exercising and strengthening our emotional well-being.
Like with physical activity, as muscles repair and build stronger after work outs break them down, our emotional fortitude can grow in confidence to face the daily challenges that come with relationships. We can learn to use reflection like a mirror. Viewing our moments with healthy perspectives can radically shift our responses and choices as we move through our lives. Instead of retreating and dis-engaging from valuable relationship (with ourselves and others) we can turn toward who and what matters to us.
Once when one of my children had made a costly mistake, I was internally and intuitively guided that my eyes needed to reflect the Highest expression of my child otherwise they would see only the mistake rather than my Love and hope for their potential.
We mirror our beliefs to others. Do we see people as their behavior or treat them with their potential and innate wisdom? What about ourselves?
As a mom, no matter the season of parenting, our kids give us a chance to grow, yes? In fact, this can be true in all relationships. For me, I know none that have demanded more intimate reflection than motherhood. When they’re babies and can’t talk, we face them, searching for clues of how to meet their needs and nourish their spirits to become thriving people. Turning TOWARD our children (and others) is indicative of our willingness to show up for the relationship; opening and making ourselves available. (Are you able to be reminded of birth in this?)
Choosing to face the relationship, face the emotions experienced and actively love expands how effective we are in growing health in the worlds we live in. We can course correct. Our future is not dictated by our past.
There is also a need to look inward, learning more of our own needs as an individual. When our needs are known, we’re ABLE to respond more appropriately. This is indicative of growing in RESPONSE- ABLE-ity …responsibility. It’s a maturing process that we can witness in our children too. The gift of anticipating needs is helpful for mothers who can keep the hangry (hungry= angry) moments at bay by making sure meals and snacks happen on time. At some point though, children must learn to feed themselves, yes? For proper maturation and becoming responsible (able to respond) humans, they’ll need to identify the need to eat and figure out how to make that happen independently. Seems simple enough, but many moms I’m working with have come to neglect their own needs, sacrificing health, happiness and well-being. The result of this "sacrifice" is a reduction in their ability to appropriately respond to daily challenges and adversities; losing perspective and experiencing overwhelm with the build up of what's been neglected. Sometimes it's subtle and not recognized. The slow leak in a tire that causes premature damage could be prevented if addressed with awareness. Let's be aware and stop the leaks.
In writing this piece, I intuitively held publication as I’ve learned to trust the timing of my work. Sure enough, the finishing touch came with patience. This week, a client (with two littles home 24 /7) reflected how she felt after turning inward and giving herself “quiet time” to be reflective and attentive to her thoughts and feelings. Reflection can come in short moments, it doesn't have to be extensive. Her words in our session were that she was able to “happily turn toward her children” feeling calm and available to them. Ahhh…as a mother, we ache to do this job well, to love our children well, to respond to our kids with patience and Peace. While the provision of food and shelter can count for some days, ultimately, to increase the health and function in our lives, we must choose to turn inward for that Peace and then Turn Toward the people we are in relationship with. Can you imagine a family or community where we can model that love and hope for potential?.
Choosing to turn toward, facing our relationships, facing the emotions experienced and actively love will expand how effective we are in growing health in the worlds we live in. You’ll never know how far reaching…